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These community activists from Shallcross in the south of Durban repaired the bridge linking Shallcross and Blundell Road with R50,000 and the sponsored use of R12m worth of construction equipment. Picture: SUPPLIED
These community activists from Shallcross in the south of Durban repaired the bridge linking Shallcross and Blundell Road with R50,000 and the sponsored use of R12m worth of construction equipment. Picture: SUPPLIED

A group of residents from Shallcross in eThekwini joined forces to repair a road and bridge damaged in the recent floods in just five days.

The Pompene River bridge team, consisting of 10 community activists in the south of Durban, took on the task with R50,000 and the sponsored use of R12m worth of construction equipment.

The bridge, linking Shallcross and Blundell Road, was hit by debris and the resulting blockage diverted the floodwaters to the side and washed away part of the road and a section of the bridge.

A spokesperson for the team, Marcus Richards said alternative routes were often closed because of service delivery protests, and the short-term solution was to clean up the river banks and on top of the portion of the bridge remaining. Backfill and other road engineering took place once the river was diverted back on course, he said.

A long-term solution, he said, was for a newly designed bridge.

“We were basically held hostage as we couldn’t leave or enter when these protests occurred. A group of activists and community members decided to step up. We couldn’t sit around and wait for authorities to do it for us because we didn’t know when they would,” Richards said.

“When a group of people with the same vision get together, they can achieve anything.”

Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela commended the community and their achievement.

“The civic pride shown here encourages us as a city to also continue to work hard to ensure that our city is repaired and services are restored,” Mayisela said.

“Some locals with access to heavy machinery set about clearing the debris and reinstating the approach roadway with road-fill material and the use of a front-end loader supplied by the eThekwini municipality’s road maintenance department. Our teams are assessing to ensure that all is in order.”

TimesLIVE

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